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Ian_H

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Everything posted by Ian_H

  1. Except that while we (the UK) have substantial quantities of oil & gas being produced daily, control of it seems to be completely in the hands of the oil and gas companies. When it was reported that a Russian tanker was entering a UK port, many social media keyboard warriors assumed it was with a load of Russian oil coming to Britain. As we know it was the opposite – it was for a load of oil from Sullom Voe to leave the UK, as many (most?) loads of oil from Sullom Voe seem to do. How much “UK oil” is actually consumed in the UK? The argument to increase oil production to avoid using foreign oil doesn’t really seem to play out in practice. And prices. It has been quoted that the UK only gets about 5% of it gas from Russia. But all gas has gone up massively in price, not least because the present government decided a few years ago that keeping a decent sized reserve in storage was too expensive. That is market forces; if the North Sea /west of Shetland produced twice as much gas as it does, it wouldn’t reduce UK gas prices; it would just mean that the oil and gas companies would make twice the eye watering profits they are getting just now. There is piece in the Guardian reporting and commenting on the case made by the government minister Kwasi Kwarteng setting out his case for a clean energy future for the UK. I am pleasantly surprised to see someone in government giving what to me is a reasonably rounded summary of the situation. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/01/kwasi-kwartengs-stand-for-green-energy-isnt-everything-but-it-helps
  2. Well that is the thing. Fossil fuels, or I would rather describe it as fossil resources are limited. I remember years ago hearing a talk about climate change, about increasing CO2 in the atmosphere and how mankind is affecting the weather. But what I remember from that talk was a comment in the closing remarks. I’m not sure that I can quote it exactly, but it was along the lines “Even if you don’t believe in climate change, oil and gas is too valuable to just burn”. That comment stuck with me. Sitting at your computer, what is it made of? Your clothes, your furniture, significant parts of your car will all have plastics or other materials made from hydrocarbons. If oil and gas extraction goes on at present rates, how long will it last, 20 years? 200 years? I don’t know, but I’m absolutely sure it won’t last 2000 years. So I wouldn’t say that all oil and gas extraction should be totally stopped, what I think is important is that it should be preserved for making other things and not simply be burned for uses like generating electricity or powering motor cars where other options are available. Yes preserving hydrocarbons has a “green” bonus to in terms of not producing so much CO2, but I think that reducing the use of a limited natural resource that is really useful is reason enough to try to preserve as much of it as possible for the future.
  3. Suggest you try J A & G D Nicolsons, phone number listed on their website is 01950 477573. In addition to buses, they have lorries, and are involved in agriculture. I am sure that it would be worth giving them a ring.
  4. Of course, this isn’t the first interconnector to take energy from Shetland to keep the lights on in the rest of the UK. Googling gives different answers, but what seemed a reasonable report gave the cost of the Laggan Tormore project as £3,500 million, so nothing comes cheap. https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/101001/laggan-tormore-fast-facts-and-brief-history/ Since much of UK electricity comes from gas, all electricity users are now paying for that interconnector whenever a gas turbine is running. But at least oil/ gas producers don’t get “subsidies” like there is for renewable energy producers. No, they get “tax breaks” met by all the rest of us taxpayers. So presumably that is ok then – at least if you use a lot of electricity and don’t pay tax. Probably won’t live long enough to know for sure, but I bet that the wind will still be blowing and able to send electricity down the wires long after gas has run out at Laggan Tormore.
  5. It looks like the roof covering was pressed metal tiles. https://www.metrotile.co.uk/case-studies/fair-isle-bird-observatory/ I couldn’t find anything in the construction details as to how the wires from the photovoltaic panels are or should be taken in through the roof.
  6. Bulb is one of the newer energy companies, they have an “Economy 7 meter” tick box on the page that lets you look up their tariffs. I am told by someone with Bulb that they are very good at responding to any queries you have; they are happy with them and their prices. With Bulb,you have to give them all meter readings yourself online, perhaps I think also emailing them a photo of the meter when you change over. We are on year three of a three-year fixed tariff with SSE, now a very good price, but plan to look around when that expires.
  7. You missed an important bit, online is charged at cover price, so no saving by going digital. But it is available first thing on a Friday morning, and you don't have to fetch it from the shop.
  8. Not been to Sumburgh since they started charging – someone said that the overspill car park beyond the hangers isn’t included. Is that right?
  9. No Tavish. There are paid for car parking all over the country, and I am sure very very few are covered by CCTV. I don’t think that CCTV is seen very often as preventing/ solving all the crime and vandalism in Lerwick. The responsibility for vandalism is the vandal, like it is everywhere else. If HIAL were negligent – perhaps leave something unsecured that blows over in a moderate wind and damages a car – then there would be a good case for them to be held responsible. But not for some random person acting illegally.
  10. Your mother was there and heard what was said, I wasn’t; so its not for me to say anything more on that. Respect should certainly be shown by anyone visiting someone else’s home. Tone and attitude are as important as the actual words used, and only your mother can make a judgement on that (even if allowance is made in his choice of words, that English is not his first language).
  11. You say that the meter reader had poor English, so did he also have an accent, and so was a bit difficult to hear and follow? Might he have also have said “here” as he questioned about the dog – “Do you want to keep your dog here?” Answering by saying he is on a lead is the same as saying that the dog will be kept in the same area as the meter man is to work. So was the man threatening the dog? Don’t know, but I think it was more likely that the man was planning to leave if the dog was not going to be moved somewhere else. Training? When a meter change is being arranged, a householder is always asked about any dogs in the house. I guess that a meter man’s training is to walk away if a dog isn’t being kept at least a closed door away from where the work is being done. So I think that this is more likely to be a case of English as a second language, speaker with an accent and misunderstanding.
  12. One issue is that electricity flowing through a wire generates heat. With a bare wire way up in the air, that isn’t a problem. But cover it in insulation, bundle three wires together and add more insulation, bury in the ground, then heat does become an issue. The way around that is to use bigger wires to have less resistance and therefore produce less heat. But more copper costs more money, add insulation, armouring and laying; the result is that underground cables are expensive compared to overhead if moving a lot of power over a distance.
  13. A power cable isn’t the same beast at all as a phone cable. Photo shows how to lay one. Okay, equipment and machinery have become available and developed since that photo, but it wouldn’t be a small cable to supply any quarter of Shetland. If the link below doesn’t work, look for photo number W00027 on the museum website. http://photos.shetland-museum.org.uk/index.php?a=ViewItem&key=SXsiTiI6MywiUCI6eyJ2YWx1ZSI6IlNUMDAwODMiLCJvcGVyYXRvciI6IjEiLCJmdXp6eVByZWZpeExlbmd0aCI6IjMiLCJmdXp6eU1pblNpbWlsYXJpdHkiOjAuNjUsIm1heFN1Z2dlc3Rpb25zIjoiNSIsImFsd2F5c1N1Z2dlc3QiOm51bGx9fQ&pg=3&WINID=1541979584621#wLOpPzwe29AAAAFnBSUynA/36952
  14. Battery storage in conjunction with tidal (and other renewal) power – that has to be a good step forward. Anyone seen any spec for the battery – power/ capacity – and is it in place yet, or is it still just a proposal?
  15. I would always use treated timber, but my experience is limited.
  16. Well, the power station exists. Electricity comes out the ends of the wires when you switch on a light bulb. So I am willing to believe that SSE does exist. And willing to believe that wind turbines means that they don’t use quite as much diesel as they would do without them.
  17. Well actually, SSE claim to be using 10% less diesel fuel now than they did previously. http://news.ssen.co.uk/news/all-articles/2017/06/northern-isles-new-energy-solutions-project/
  18. Okay, 2 per year isn’t a big number, but these are people injured, not just a bit of bent metalwork on a car. More accurately, the SIC report gave the numbers as 22 injury accidents in 14 years, so while that isn’t quite 2 per year, I cannot think of a word better than regular when it keeps repeating year after year after year. More importantly, what is an acceptable number of people being injured for the Council to say fine, we will just ignore it? Out in other parts of Shetland it only needs to be “an accident waiting to happen” (i.e. no accidents have occurred) to bring on demands for million-pound road improvements.
  19. It was because people were regularly getting injured here. Apparently, an average of about 2 people per year had been injured along this section of road, according to police records, and that had been the case for the last umpteen years. So the Council decided to do something where folk were actually being injured, rather than where they just might get injured.
  20. Well there is a bus stop on Sea Road already opposite Tescos.
  21. Taking two steps back to look at the bigger picture, it is that the Council (that is the Councillors) decided that three tugs were enough, and would reduce the number of staff needed. That required more powerful tugs and two new ones were bought. A new Council was elected, they decided to keep the old four tug set up. So the bigger, more powerful, more expensive to run tugs were no longer needed and were sold. Yes, it seems the process getting them should have been done better, but what really cost the money was buying them, having a change of mind, then selling them virtually unused. Try doing that with a new car and see how much of your money you get back, boats are no different.
  22. Yes, the question of “wasteful and pointless convoluted admin and protocol procedures and red tape” – I think much of that comes from the government, from the media driving the agenda, and presumably ultimately from the public. All are demanding information, statistics, answers. Someone comes into A&E, first thing is to see what’s wrong with them? Well no, first thing is write down what time they came in. Then get on to treatment, but whatever happens make sure they are either out or moved on within 4 hours – priority. Have someone count occupied/empty beds every night. Report all of that and much more to government regularly. So do you have medical staff spending half their day adding up and passing or these figures, or have an admin person do some of the running around? So yes, I think there is a significant issue in the NHS with red tape, information demanded of them and reporting and targets for everything. But as per my opening paragraph, I think that mostly comes down from the government, from the media driving the agenda, and presumably ultimately from the public expecting reports of everything from the NHS. Cut down on the red tape required and the hoops to jump through, then admin and “managers” could be reduced as well. Yes every organization could always do better or be more efficient, but to me the admin/management situation is by and large the result of the situation the NHS are in rather than a cause of it. So it’s time for governments to back off a bit and cut the red tape –to me that is equally applicable to both Scotland and England – no party political point being made here.
  23. Hi, your OP refers to a percolation test for surface drainage - is this for surface water only (from the roof, parking areas etc), or will you also have septic tank water to deal with as well?
  24. Agree with above, check out options, see what you can do with insulation. I understand that for houses like your where straightforward insulation isn’t an option, that the Scottish Government’s Green Homes Cashback scheme has recently been extended to help. In cases that qualifies, 75% grant giving up to £6000 cashback could be available. The older Green Deal options are still available - up to £500 is available for a boiler, up to £400 is available for (more straightforward) insulation measures, and up to £300 is available for “other measures†are still available. Be careful you go through all the right hoops, get someone who knows to advise. Main points as I understand it; starting point is a Green Deal Advice Report by an approved assessor; the work you want to do has to be one of the recommendations in that report; and the work needs to be done by an approved installer. Approved installers for the internal/external insulation may be thin on the ground. But get advice.
  25. Yes, diesel generated electricity gets very hefty subsidies, I'm sure more than most wind. I've no problem with appropriate subsidies being paid, including to wind. Fossil fuel prices are only going to go in one direction over the years to come, and that is upwards. Electricity prices will follow suit, so establishing a proportion of wind generated power now is no bad thing. But Paul, I am not sure what you mean in your first sentence, I expect support to these 3 to be the same as to any others of that size.
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